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Storytelling is based on the word, being an honorable person of integrity is based on your word.
– Jesse Williams  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 8 August 2020  

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Michelle Barrette

  By Michelle Barrette

   As Mark Stoller referenced in his column this month, the end of the summer of 2020 is closing in on us. Should we be melancholy as usual or grateful as hell?
   As if time doesn’t go by fast enough, many of us are hoping that a new season will push the coronavirus behind us. Is that fall? Winter? Who knows, but please hurry it up.
   Gov. Polis said the COVID-19 cases are “creeping up,” according to a Gazette article from June 25. The Gazette stated that as of June 17, Polis had cited new cases in the San Luis Valley, Boulder, Eagle, San Miguel and El Paso counties.
   But by the time you read this, the whole state could be on lockdown again. That is the challenge with a monthly newspaper, especially in this situation. As I watch what is happening in Florida and Texas, it’s clear to me that this virus is still having its way with us. And now COVID-19 is assailing younger people. The good news is that they seem to wear it better — fewer severe symptoms and hospitalizations. But they risk passing it on to the more vulnerable among us.
   I debated on whether to even mention the virus because of the rapidly changing situation, but it’s so prominent in the summer of 2020 that I would feel derelict not mentioning it.
   I still believe in masks and washing my hands 10 times a day; just waiting for a healthier season.
   On another note — but still melancholy — our long-time lead writer, Lindsey Harrison, is leaving us. Lindsey has been with us more than 10 years, and has been a trustworthy reporter, which is a real plus in this business. We have to know that the reporters are getting it right and establishing trust with their sources in the community. Lindsey has done that. Marylou and I have been lucky to have her as part of our team. Marylou is the one responsible for the content of the newspaper, so she has told me many times that having a reliable reporter is vital.
   Lindsey is moving out of state with her family — on to new adventures. She will continue for now to help us out with the real estate column and school board meetings since the information is online. We wish you well, Lindsey.
   And so we move on, and we are excited to welcome new team members. Ava Stoller is a student participating in concurrent enrollment in D 49 — so she is busy with college courses as well as her regular classes. Ava is a prolific writer and skilled beyond her years! This month, she writes about the Dragon capsule and Falcon 9.
   We also welcome Susan Oliver Nelson. Susan lives in Banning Lewis Ranch, and has ties to the military, which is a big plus for us, given our readership. Susan is also an experienced newspaper writer. Susan writes this month about how today’s unrest compares to the dissidence of the 60s and 70s.
   Welcome to both of you. We also have a new person coming on board next month, so stay tuned.
   We will be assigning development, water issues and businesses to our new team members. For example, the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners in a unanimous vote in June, nixed the controversial cement plant planned for Falcon. We will follow up on that decision in August. We also want to further research the 5 $1 million lots on Owl Lane.
   Aaron Berscheid, a district wildlife officer with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is now writing a column for us on wildlife issues in northeast Colorado.
   We have lots of good articles this month, so read on.
   Stay safe!
   See you in August!
   - Michelle
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